Elmira College Hosts Seventh International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

September 14 2013
Category: Events

The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies recently hosted the Seventh International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, entitled One Man, Many Legacies. The conference took place August 1 through 3.

The conference featured more than 80 lectures and panel discussions on many topics including Mark Twain and the Legacy of the Pastoral Dream, Mark Twain’s Common American Readers, and Race, Revenge and the Walking/Waking Dead in Huckleberry Finn. These presentations were given by scholars from all over the world, including the University of Oregon, Le Moyne College, Smith College, Dominican University, the University of Nottingham, and many more.

About 170 scholars attended the conference, from more than 25 states and many countries including Japan, Russia, China, India, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
The conference also featured a Work-in-Progress Preview Screening of HOLBROOK/TWAIN, a documentary film chronicling Hal Holbrook’s six-decade run portraying Mark Twain on stage. Following the screening, Holbrook was available to sign copies of his book Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain.

Peter Kaminsky, a former managing editor of National Lampoon and one of the creators of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize and The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, delivered the Keynote Address. Mr. Kaminsky, an award-winning journalist and author, has published frequently in the New York Times, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and was Underground Gourmet for New York Magazine.

The Second Edition of Mark Twain in Elmira, just published by the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies, was distributed to all Conference attendees along with two CDs of lectures presented at Quarry Farm over the past 25 years. Also, each attendee received a copy of the Mark Twain Journal, a journal affiliated with the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies. The conference commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first use of the pen name, Mark Twain, and a paper presented by Kevin Mac Donnell posited a new source for the choice of that name by Samuel Clemens. The essay discussing this discovery was included in the complimentary edition of the Mark Twain Journal distributed to conference attendees.

For additional photographs from the conference, visit http://www.twainweb.net/gifs/Elmira_2013/elmira2013a.html. All photos were taken by Twain Scholar Kent Rasmussen.